Trials throw up two decent bets for the weekend

When at the races on Friday and Sunday, keep an eye on LAKE HUKA and LAUGHING GRAVY and have them in your calculations when you're planning those novelty bets.

Both horses were at the trials on Tuesday morning and both put in decent runs.

Okay, so neither of them won.

But you know how it is at the trials. Winning is always secondary.

Let's kick off with Laughing Gravy.

The Queen Elizabeth II Cup winner of 2016 did well when up with the pace all the way in his trial.

Hades eventually took the honours but it was Laughing Gravy who was putting in his best work in the concluding stages when second to the all-the-way winner.

Ridden by Michael Rodd, he was beaten by half a length but there was plenty to take from that showing.

A six-time winner from 24 starts, Laughing Gravy has not won a race since lifting the Queen's trophy but he's had plenty of trials and looks ready for a bold showing in Race 8 on Sunday.

Rodd won't be in the saddle but he will be in good hands as Ridzuan Shafiq gets the mount.

It is worth noting that in two of his three wins last season, the victories came after Laughing Gravy had put in fine showings at the trials.

And if you need a little more trivia, it was around this time of the year - April and May - that the Cliff Brown-trained six-year-old son of Primus posted those wins.


As for Lake Huka, his trial was also noteworthy.

Clearing the chute cleanly, jockey Oscar Chavez settled him in third when they made that first turn on the far side.

He was still third when they straightened. By which time, Super Hero had scooted clear but, with 100m to travel, Lake Huka came with a sustained run and only failed by three parts of a length from claiming victory.

In the same trial, third placegetter KOKONI - ridden by Alan Munro - also impressed, running on from way back to "make the board".

But it was Lake Huka who served notice of a good showing in Race 9 on Friday.

A four-time winner from 26 starts, he has been running into some kind of form recently, finishing fourth - when carrying just lukewarm support - in his last two races.

His trainer Laurie Laxon has picked a winnable sort of race for his galloper and you'll be ding yourself a favour by having him in your reckoning when you're mapping out strategy for those tierce and quartet bets.